On June 7th, the Brown Institute hosted the New York meeting of the Credibility Schema Working Group. The Credibility Schema Working Group is a body of data scientists, researchers, journalists and other professionals who are dedicated to addressing the growing problem of misinformation in the media. Through combining diverse perspectives on the issue, the members of the Working Group plan to develop a set of indicators of misinformation in a news article. More specifically, by organizing these indicators into a technical schema, the Group aims to create a system that is capable of assessing the credibility of news articles and sources.
Throughout the day, various individuals presented their work in combating this issue of misinformation. From researchers who have developed software that can detect levels of bias, to businesses that have created tools to annotate misleading articles, to news websites that aim to source their content ethically, the multitude of ideas that were exchanged showcased the vast efforts that are currently being undertaken to fight the spread of misinformation.
Later in the day, members of the group engaged in a brainstorming session to identify characteristics of news articles that contain misinformation. While tackling the issue of misinformation is certainly a daunting task, the Working Group was able to develop a set of indicators that prove promising for further efforts to develop the technical schema needed to combat misinformation in the media. This workshop demonstrated the power –and the necessity– of collaboration between many different disciplines in tackling an increasingly complex and important issue.